Buckskin & Smoky Black Register

Dilutes Australia buckskin & smoky black register for studbook and non-studbook buckskin & smoky black horses and ponies

Registration and Membership Applications

Studbook Buckskin / Smoky Black Register: mares & stallions - must have 2 registered parents. Proof must be provided. Must PASS conformation standards.

Non-studbook Buckskin / Smoky Black Register: mares & stallions - either one or both parents are unknown / unregistered or unprovable. Must PASS conformation standards. These buckskins have full showing rights.

Gelding Register: may have either registered or unknown / unregistered / unprovable parentage. Must PASS conformation standards.

Ownership requirements

The owners of all buckskins and smoky blacks must be current financial members of the Association. Should an owner cease to be a financial member, the registration of all horses registered in his or her name will be suspended until such time as said owner rejoins the association, at which time the registration of all horses registered in his or her name will be reinstated

Smoky blacks and 'dark bay buckskins'

All horses / ponies being presented for registration as a smoky black or 'dark bay' (brown) buckskin will be required to undergo DNA testing for cream unless one of the following is applicable:

  • proof of double CREAM dilute parentage,
  • production of CREAM dilute progeny from non-cream dilute partners
  • production of DOUBLE CREAM dilute progeny

Notwithstanding the above, 'dark bay' (brown) buckskins may exhibit enough dilution characteristics to not require DNA testing but this will be up to the Registrar to determine.

Standard of Excellence

A buckskin or smoky black shall meet the standards of conformation (breed characteristics being irrelevant) prescribed by the Board. To be considered for BUCKSKIN / SMOKY BLACK STUDBOOK, NON-STUDBOOK or GELDING registration, a buckskin / smoky black must gain the required conformation marks prescribed by Board and fulfil the following:

  • Must be a bay or black based horse or pony carrying one copy of the cream dilution modifier.  Horses and ponies carrying a second dilution modifier will be registered under that dilution for their primary registration but may also be registered as a composite dilute if they meet skin and eye colour requirements ie a buckskin dun will be registered as a dun first but owners can opt to have them registered as a buckskin as well (composite registration).
  • Have a body free from imperfections and free of white spots except those caused by accident.
  • Be permitted white markings on the face and legs only, the legs not to be white above the knees or hocks save for a continuous diminishing spear or stripe running above the knee or hock. NO buckskin or smoky black may have ANY white markings (ie belly splashes) other than those permitted under the Regulations of the Company. 
    Notwithstanding this, an owner may apply to have a horse or pony accepted for registration under the company's hardship clause which allows for small amounts of underbelly white.
  • Have a basic skin colour which is dark.
  • Have both eyes dark and the same colour. Wall eyes are not acceptable.
  • Not be bleached or dyed
  • Not exhibit any appaloosa characteristics. Solid horses and ponies with appaloosa/palouse/spotted pony parentage must be DNA'd for Lp and must return a negative result to be eligible for registration as a buckskin or smoky black.  Horses carrying Lp can be registered as DA Non Solid Dilutes. 

Acceptable shades of buckskin / smoky black for Dilutes Australia registration

The company registers all shades of buckskin and smoky black. 

Buckskins range in shade from very pale cream or buff to almost black.  They are defined by their genetic makeup of single cream on a BAY BASE and genetically are one of the following: EE AA CRcr, EE Aa CRcr, Ee AA CRcr, Ee Aa CRcr.

Smoky Blacks also come in a range of shades from almost brown to pitch black.  Single cream does not affect black pigment.  They are defined by their genetic make up of single cream on a BLACK BASE and genetically are one of the following: EE aa CRcr, Ee aa CRcr.

PLEASE NOTE - The following are descriptive terms only included for the purposes of describing the various possible shades.  They are NOT official names; the OFFICIAL name for a bay horse carrying one copy of cream is buckskin, regardless of shade. 

CREAM - a pale cream, off white or buff colour with dark points.

STANDARD - a yellowish body colour. Mane, tail and legs are black. May be clear coated, dappled or sooty.

GOLDEN - a nice deep gold body colour. Some of the richer colours are hard to distinguish from the bays, particularly the copper bay, but they are lack the 'redness' that bays have. One of the most common ways of distinguishing between the two is by looking at the iridescence: a buckskin, like a palomino, will have gold or metallic silver iridescence whilst a bay will tend to exhibit copper or orange iridescence.

BURNT/SOOTY - at one stage sooty buckskin was incorrectly known as brown grulla when it was thought that buckskin, dun and grulla were each controlled by the same genetic mechanism. However, it is now known that this is not the case.  'Sooty' is progressive; horses progressively develop black hairs through the coat as they age.

BROWN - this is the darkest shade. Overall the horse appears to be brown with tan or buff soft spots.  Please note that all horses / ponies of this colour being presented for registration may be required to undergo DNA testing for cream unless they have

  • have a double cream dilute parent OR
  • have produced double cream dilute progeny OR
  • have produced single cream dilute progeny to proven non-cream dilute partners.


SMOKY BLACK - occurs on a base colour of black. This colour is also referred to as black buckskin and dilute black.  Smoky blacks registered with Dilutes Australia Ltd are eligible to be shown in classes for buckskins.

These horses and ponies carry two copies of the recessive agouti allele 'a' that allows black pigment to be dispersed right across the coat.  Breeders should be aware when using smoky blacks for breeding buckskins that the other parent must carry at least one copy of the dominant agouti allele 'A'.  If a buckskin is the desired result the other parent needs to carry two copies of the dominant allele ie be 'AA'.

Foals may be born a tan or fawn colour but can't be distinguished from ordinary black, which are also born a tan or fawn colour.  

Click here to see photos illustrating the various shades.


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